Terroir Al Limit Les Tosses 2017  Front Label
Terroir Al Limit Les Tosses 2017  Front LabelTerroir Al Limit Les Tosses 2017  Front Bottle Shot

Terroir Al Limit Les Tosses 2017

  • RP97
  • JS96
750ML / 14% ABV
Other Vintages
  • RP98
  • D97
  • JS96
  • RP98
  • JS97
  • WE96
  • W&S95
  • RP98
  • JS90
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750ML / 14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Les Tosses is a steep, 90-year-old vineyard of head-pruned Carinyena on llicorella soil that Dominik Huber discovered while riding his motorbike on the twisting and mountainous dirt roads around Torroja. While many growers in the Priorat preferred Garnatxa or were planting Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, Dominik saw the potential for pure, old-vine, Carinyena. Inspired by the Burgundian concept of terroir, Les Tosses’ minuscule yields are not blended with any other variety or Carinyena from other sites. It is harvested by hand, with whole cluster native fermentations, infused rather than extracted, with only two weeks on the skins before pressing. It finishes fermentation and malo in a Stockinger foudre (50%) and a concrete tank (50%).

Critical Acclaim

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RP 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The top Cariñena 2017 Les Tosses is a little riper than the 2018 I tasted next to it, but it also has a little more acidity and freshness and comes through as equally balanced. This south-facing vineyard was planted 90 years ago on black slate soils, and its orientations makes the grapes ripen thoroughly and achieve full flavors. Seventy percent of the volume still matured in oak foudres, but this percentage is going to go down to 50% in 2018; eventually, the wine will be aged exclusively in concrete, as is the case with all of their wines. This is expressive and tasty, and it has elegance and freshness within its serious profile. It's very balanced and has a mixture of floral, red and black fruit with some graphite quality and a Mediterranean touch of herbs, even esparto grass.
JS 96
James Suckling
This is very typical for a very top Priorat with firm yet plush tannins and plenty of blue-fruit, walnut, underbrush and dark-mushroom character. It’s full-bodied with polished tannins and excellent length. Persistence and character here. Drink after 2021.
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Terroir Al Limit

Terroir Al Limit

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Terroir Al Limit, Spain
In 2000, Eben Sadie and Dominik Huber first met at Mas Martinet. Eben was a promising and highly-regarded young enologist from South Africa. Dominik, a native German, was a wine enthusiast with a business administration background but with interests in the culinary arts. In short order, they became fast friends. With the help of the Pérez family of Mas Martinet, Eben and Dominik purchased some fruit and leased a little corner in the cellar of Cims de Porrera, where they vinified their first vintage of Dits del Terra in 2001. After two years at Cims de Porrera, they moved into a tiny cellar in Torroja del Priorat. The move coincided with the first vintage of Arbossar in 2003. In the following years, they released additional cuvées: Torroja in 2005, Manyes and Tosses in 2006, Pedra de Guix in 2008, and Terra de Cuques in 2011. Since its founding, Terroir al Limit has slowly evolved its understanding of the Priroat as a region as capable as Burgundy in its complexity and potential to make elegant and transparent wines. The Torroja and Terra de Cuques are the village wines, Dits del Terra and Arbossar the Premier Crus, and Manyes and Tosses are the Grand Crus. With the demands arising from increased production and additional farming responsibilities and Eben Sadie spending more time in South Africa with his various projects, Dominik began working full time at Terroir al Limit in 2007. Devoting himself primarily to the cultivation of the growing number of vineyard sites, Dominik could see his vineyard efforts were resulting in healthier fruit. With better fruit coming into the cellar, Eben and Dominik had a profound realization that ripe, concentrated grapes combined with extractive winemaking and aging in barriques didn’t show their vineyards’ authenticity. Consequently, they reevaluated their work in the cellar by phasing out all their 225-liter barrels, then utilizing a more gentle Burgundian approach to vinification, preferring whole clusters and avoiding either pigeage or remontage. The goal at Terroir al Limit is to foster wines of infusion rather than extraction, thereby emphasizing elegance rather than the typical heaviness of the Priorat. Currently, the wines are aged mainly in concrete tanks, with a few upright Stockinger foudres, and 500L neutral French oak demi-muids. Realizing that organic or biodynamic farming during an era of global warming is insufficient for a region as hot and dry as the Priorat, Dominik farms rigorously to guarantee the health and vitality of his soils so they can retain as much moisture as possible, reducing the hydric stress on the vines in summer and allowing for an earlier harvest of physiologically ripe fruit. Eben Sadie left Terroir al Limit in 2011 to devout his energies to his extraordinary work in South Africa, but he left it in the capable hands of Dominik Huber. Each successive vintage is a testament to their original vision for Terroir al Limit, as well as Dominik’s continued quest to make the most elegant and expressive wines in the Priorat.
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Tiny and entirely composed of craggy, jagged and deeply terraced vineyards, Priorat is a Catalan wine-producing region that was virtually abandoned until the early 1990s. This Spanish wine's renaissance came with the arrival of one man, René Barbier, who recognized the region’s forgotten potential. He banded with five friends to create five “Clos” in the village of Gratallops. Their aim was to revive some of Priorat’s ancient Carignan vines, as well as plant new—mainly French—varieties. These winemakers were technically skilled, well-trained and locally inspired; not surprisingly their results were a far cry from the few rustic and overly fermented wines already produced.

This movement escalated Priorat’s popularity for a few reasons. Its new wines were modern and made with well-recognized varieties, namely old Carignan and Grenache blended with Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. When the demand arrived, scarcity commanded higher prices and as the region discovered its new acclaim, investors came running from near and far. Within ten years, the area under vine practically doubled.

Priorat’s steep slopes of licorella (brown and black slate) and quartzite soils, protection from the cold winds of the Siera de Monstant and a lack of water, leading to incredibly low vine yields, all work together to make the region’s wines unique. While similar blends could and are produced elsewhere, the mineral essence and unprecedented concentration of a Priorat wine is unmistakable.

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Responsible for some of the most stunning old vine red wine on the planet, Carignan has an amazing capacity to survive dry, arid climates and still produce lovely, mouthwatering wine. In Spain it goes by the name of Mazuelo or Cariñena and while it may have originated there in the province of Aragón, its popularity lies elsewhere, particularly in Languedoc-Roussillon. Somm Secret—Historically Carignan did not enjoy the respect that it does today. In the mid 20th century, Carignan covered nearly 140,000 ha in Algeria, where it was made into low quality bulk and blending wine to supply mass-market demand.

RAE390066_2017 Item# 895784

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